Google Drive, Two Months Later


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When Google released Google Drive, I was so excited that I moved all my Lawyerist and Bitter Lawyer files to it right away. Two months later, I am still using Google Drive, but I have moved some “mission-critical” files back to Dropbox, and I am still using Dropbox for my law firm’s files.

There are some awesome things about Google Drive, but it still has some issues that Google is, presumably, ironing out.

A couple of updates in, Google Drive is as quick and light on resources as Dropbox. It is also faster to startup (indexing and updating files), as far as I can tell. But twice in two months, Google Drive has forced me to disconnect my account and re-download the entire contents of my Google Drive. This means I had to manually update the files that hadn’t been updated as a result of the glitch.

Also, on numerous occasions, Google Drive has simply quit unexpectedly. When it crashes like this, it quits quietly, and the only indication that it is no longer working is the fact that its icon is missing from the system tray. On several occasions, this has left me with multiple un-synced files.

Because of these problems, I have moved my QuickBooks files back to Dropbox, which has crashed like once in several years, and has never forced me to re-download my files. With Google Drive, I just got tired of getting home and firing up QuickBooks on my laptop only to find that my QuickBooks file hadn’t synced up from my desktop at work.

There is one more drawback to Google Drive: app support. None of the Android or iPad apps that I use to edit text files supports it. As far as I can tell, in fact, almost no third-party software supports Google Drive as a way to access or sync files. That means all my blog post drafts have to stay in Dropbox, where my favorite text editor happily keeps them in sync and available across platforms.

All this is to say that, if you are using Dropbox, I don’t think there is a compelling reason to switch to Google Drive just yet.


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  • apart from storage cost?

  • Dropbox and Google Drive are comparable on the cost of extra storage, and both are generous with the amount of free storage you can get, so I don’t think storage cost is a big advantage to Google Drive.

    Besides, if it doesn’t work, it’s not worth it at any price.

    • Paulo L

      the costs between GDrive and Dropbox are comparable? really??
      DropBox for 100GB: $19.99/m
      Google Drive fr 100GB: $4.99/m

      GDrive is 4 times cheaper than Dropbox, that’s a big difference for a lot of people…

      I use dropbox for all the documents I work on (because I had better sync experience than with GDrive) and have GDrive for all my photos/ music/ old documents (basically things that don’t need much sync, only used as a storage system)


      • Lesson: Don’t try to do math in your head based on glances at your smartphone while distracted.

        You’re right; it’s significant. Although I stand by my earlier comment that the price difference isn’t all that relevant if Google Drive isn’t reliable. It’s not reliable enough for me, yet. I wouldn’t put my client files in there. Not yet, anyway.

  • Ron Eichler

    I have used Google Drive with QuickOffice Pro on my iphone and ipad. Works just fine.

  • I copy my files from Dropbox to Google drive on occasion as an extra layer of redundancy, but wouldn’t consider using it alone due to some syncing issues I’ve had with Google’s Cloud Connect plugin for Word.

  • Laura

    So far, SugarSync beats out Gdrive hands down, for me. In addition to the reasons listed above for why, here are others:
    1) Gdrive fails to sync a lot of docs, 2) Gdrive messes with Excel formats, even when you tell it to keep the native format and not convert to gdocs, and even when you simply sync from local file, then go to Google to download the docs to work on it on another local machine, 3) terrible tech support (Sugarsync has excellent chat and forum support, even for non-paying customers). I really wanted to like Gdrive so that I could have one portal to email and docs, but it just isn’t to be. SugarSync is platform-agnostic, it doesn’t mess with your file structure, and is more reliable.

  • I read somewhere where Google’s terms of service were not exactly consistent with “confidentiality” of your files. I’m not sure if Google is change this since it brought drive out.

    There’s little doubt that the cloud is here to stay and that eventually everyone will be using that. Most are very easy to use and very inexpensive for the service provided. In fact, the cloud storage alternative is much cheaper than on-site backup and upgrading of equipment.

    • I heard somewhere that it’s a good idea to read the terms yourself instead of spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt based on vague secondhand information.